How to Pick the Best Phlebotomist Training Course near Hoover AL
Choosing the ideal phlebotomist training near Hoover AL is a critical first step toward a gratifying profession as a phlebotomist. It might seem like a daunting undertaking to evaluate and compare all of the training options that are accessible to you. However it's vital that you do your due diligence to make sure that you receive a superior education. In reality, many potential students start their search by considering 2 of the qualifiers that initially come to mind, which are location and cost. Another option you might look into is whether to attend online classes or commute to an area campus. We'll discuss a bit more about online schools later in this article. What's important to keep in mind is that there is much more to comparing phlebotomy training programs than locating the closest or the cheapest one. Other variables such as accreditation and reputation are also significant considerations and need to be part of your decision process also. To assist in that effort, we will provide a list of questions that you should ask each of the phlebotomy schools you are evaluating to help you select the best one for you. But before we do that, let's cover what a phlebotomist is and does, and afterwards resume our discussion about online schools.
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Phlebotomist Job Description
A phlebotomist, or phlebotomy technician, draws blood from patients. While that is their main duty, there is in fact so much more to their job description. Prior to collecting a blood sample, a phlebotomist has to confirm that the instruments being employed are sterile and single use only. Following the collection, the sample has to be accurately labeled with the patient's data. Next, paperwork needs to be accurately completed in order to track the sample from the point of collection through the laboratory screening process. The phlebotomist then delivers the blood to either an an outside lab facility or an in-house lab where it may be screened for such things as pregnancy, infectious diseases or blood type. Many phlebotomists in fact work in Hoover AL labs and are in charge of making certain that samples are analyzed properly using the highest quality control procedures. And if those weren't sufficient duties, they might be required to instruct other phlebotomists in the collection, delivery and follow-up process.
Where do Phlebotomy Techs Work?
The quickest response is wherever patients are treated. Their workplaces are numerous and diverse, such as Hoover AL hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, or blood centers. They may be assigned to collect blood samples from patients of of every age, from babies or young children to senior citizens. A number of phlebotomists, based on their practice and their training, specialize in drawing samples from a specific type of patient. For instance, those practicing in a nursing home or assisted living facility would only be collecting blood from senior patients. If they are working in a maternity ward, they would be drawing blood from newborns and mothers solely. On the other hand, phlebotomy technicians practicing in a general hospital setting would be collecting samples from a wide variety of patients and would work with new patients each day.
Phlebotomy Training, Certification and Licensing
There are essentially 2 kinds of programs that furnish phlebotomist training, which are degree and certificate programs. The certificate program typically takes less than a year to complete and provides a basic education as well as the training on how to draw blood. It offers the fastest route to becoming a phlebotomist. An Associate of Science Degree in Clinical Laboratory Science, although not exclusively a phlebotomist degree, will include training on becoming a phlebotomist. Offered at junior and community colleges, they normally take 2 years to complete. Bachelor's Degrees are not as available and as a four year program provide a more expansive foundation in lab sciences. After you have completed your training, you will no doubt want to get certified. While not mandated in most states, a number of Hoover AL employers require certification before employing technicians. A few of the key certifying agencies include:
- National Phlebotomy Association
- National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
- American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
- American Medical Technologists (AMT)
There are several states that do call for certification in order to practice as a phlebotomist, such as California and Nevada. California and a few additional states even require licensing. So it's imperative that you choose a phlebotomy training program that not only offers a quality education, but also prepares you for any licensing or certification examinations that you are required or elect to take.
Phlebotomy Online Training
To start with, let's resolve one likely mistaken belief. You can't get all of your phlebotomy training online. A significant component of the course of study will be practical training and it will be carried out either in an approved healthcare facility or an on-campus lab. Many courses also require completing an internship prior to graduation. But since the non-clinical portion of the training can be accessed online, it may be a more practical alternative for some Hoover AL students. As an added benefit, some online classes are more affordable than their traditional competitors. And some expenses, including those for textbooks or commuting, may be minimized as well. Just verify that the online phlebotomy school you select is accredited by a national or regional accrediting organization (more on accreditation later). With both the extensive clinical and online training, you can obtain a superior education with this approach to learning. If you are dedicated enough to study at home, then obtaining your certificate or degree online might be the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Phlebotomist Colleges
Since you now have a basic idea about what is involved in becoming a phlebotomist, it's time to begin your due diligence process. You may have already decided on the type of program you wish to enroll in, whether it be for a degree or a certificate. As we mentioned earlier, the location of the college is important if you will be commuting from Hoover AL in addition to the tuition expense. Possibly you have opted to enroll in an accredited phlebotomist online program. Each of these decisions are an important component of the process for picking a phlebotomy program or school. But they are not the only concerns when making your decision. Below we have provided a few questions that you should ask about all of the schools you are reviewing before making your ultimate selection.
Is the Phlebotomist Program Specific to Your State? As earlier discussed, each state has its own laws for practicing as a phlebotomy technician. Some states require certification, while a few others require licensing. Every state has its own requirement regarding the minimum amount of practical training performed prior to working as a phlebotomist. As a result, you may have to pass a State Board, licensing or certification exam. Therefore it's very important to choose a phlebotomy program that complies with the state specific requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing and prepares you for any exams you may have to take.
Is the College Accredited? The phlebotomist school and program you select should be accredited by a reputable national or regional accrediting organization, such as the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS). There are many benefits to graduating from an accredited program aside from an assurance of a quality education. To begin with, if your program has not received accreditation, you will not qualify to sit for a certification examination offered by any of the earlier listed certifying agencies. Next, accreditation will help in securing financial aid or loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools. Finally, earning a certificate or a degree from an accredited school can make you more desirable to potential employers in the Hoover AL job market.
What is the College's Ranking? In numerous states there is minimal or no regulation of phlebotomist schools, so there are those that are not of the highest caliber. So in addition to accreditation, it's imperative to check the reputations of all colleges you are looking at. You can start by requesting references from the schools from employers where they refer their graduates as part of their job placement program. You can screen internet school rating and review services and ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. You can even talk to a few Hoover AL clinics or hospitals that you may be interested in working for and ask if they can offer any insights. As a final thought, you can contact the Alabama school licensing authority and find out if any grievances have been submitted or if the schools are in full compliance.
Is Plenty of Training Included? First, check with the state regulator where you will be practicing to learn if there are any minimum requirements for the length of training, both classroom and practical. As a minimum, any phlebotomy program that you are reviewing should furnish no less than 40 hours of classroom training (the majority require 120) and 120 hours of clinical training. Anything less than these minimums may signify that the program is not expansive enough to offer adequate training.
Are Internships Provided? Ask the colleges you are considering if they have an internship program in collaboration with regional health care facilities. They are the optimal way to get hands-on practical training typically not obtainable on campus. As an additional benefit, internships can assist students establish relationships within the local Hoover AL medical community. And they are a plus on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Available? Finding your first phlebotomy job will be a lot easier with the help of a job placement program. Find out if the colleges you are looking at provide assistance and what their job placement percentage is. If a school has a higher rate, signifying they place most of their students in positions, it's an indication that the school has both a good reputation along with a substantial network of professional contacts within the Hoover AL healthcare community.
Are Class Times Compatible With Your Schedule? Finally, it's critical to verify that the ultimate school you pick provides classes at times that are compatible with your active lifestyle. This is especially true if you opt to still work while going to college. If you can only go to classes at night or on weekends near Hoover AL, make sure they are offered at those times. Additionally, if you can only attend on a part-time basis, confirm it is an option also. Even if you have decided to attend online, with the practical training requirement, make certain those hours can also be completed within your schedule. And find out what the make-up protocol is in case you need to miss any classes as a result of emergencies or illness.
Enroll in the Right Phlebotomy Training near Hoover Alabama
Making sure that you pick the right phlebotomy training is an essential first step toward your success in this gratifying healthcare field. As we have discussed in this article, there are several factors that go into the selection of a premium school. Phlebotomist training programs can be available in a variety of academic institutes, including junior or community colleges, trade schools, and colleges and universities that offer a comprehensive assortment of courses in medical care and health sciences. Course offerings can vary slightly across the country as each state has its own requirements when it comes to phlebotomist training, licensing and certification. The most critical point is that you must thoroughly evaluate and compare each school before making your final decision. By asking the questions that we have provided, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can pick the best phlebotomist program for you. And with the appropriate education, you can reach your goal of becoming a phlebotomy technician in Hoover AL.